Who are Muhammad Ali's children? Explore the boxing legend's complicated family tree
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali referred to himself as 'the greatest of all time'. With the number of records he set and broke inside the boxing ring, it comes as no surprise that the late boxer left a rich legacy behind him. But his legacy isn't just limited to the boxing ring. Outside the ring, he left behind nine children from his marriages and affairs.
Laila Ali is the most recognized amongst the boxing legends' children. Muhammad and his second wife, Belinda Boyd, who later changed her named to Khalilah, had four kids together — Maryum was born in 1968, twins Jamillah and Rasheda were born in 1970, while Muhammad Ali Jr was born in 1972. From his third marriage to model/ actress Veronica Porsche, he had two more children, daughters, Laila and Hana. After the split from Veronica, Muhammad married Yolonda Williams, who was his wife until his death. Together, they adopted a son named Assad Amin. Along with those seven kids, Muhammad also had two more children out of wedlock. His daughter, Miya and Khalilah were born out of affairs with two different women while he was still married to Belinda. Read on to know all about his children and their thoughts about their father.
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Before graduating with a Bachelor's degree in social work, Maryum briefly dabbled in music as a career. The oldest child of Muhammad Ali has worked for several years in juvenile delinquency prevention and youth development. In 2016, the A&E Network heard about her work in high crime communities and invited her to participate in their ground-breaking docu-series, '60 Days In', where she spent time in a real jail as an undercover inmate in order to make recommendations for jail reform. She is also the author of the children's book 'I Shook Up the World: The Incredible Life of Muhammad Ali'. She currently works as a Public Speaker, according to her website.
Jamillah majored in communications at the University of Illinois. Upon graduation, Jamillah began her career by serving as the primary marketing director for the MARC Corporation in Silver Springs, Maryland. Jamillah currently resides in Chicago with her husband attorney Michael Joyce and their three children. She and her children are active members of the Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center which regularly provides food and hygienic products to the underprivileged and homeless in the city of Chicago.
Rasheda is an author and speaker. She has a son, Nico, who decided to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and became a boxer. In an interview with Independent, she revealed that she would have loved for her dad to see Nico win his first fight before dying. In an Instagram post, she wrote, "Happy Father’s Day to my dear father @Muhammadali I love you and miss and cherish our times together, your guidance & affection 🦋🐝 #daddysgirl."
Muhammad Ali Jr
Unlike his siblings, Ali Jr. didn't share a great relationship with his father. In an interview, he declared that he neither cared nor was interested in knowing what was happening with his father prior to his passing. Muhammad Jr lives in Chicago on food stamps and charities and works a minimum wage job. He has two children from his marriage to wife Shaakira.
While Muhammad Ali was still married to Belinda, he had an affair with a woman named Patricia Harvell. Miya was born out of wedlock from that relationship. There isn't much information available about Miya on the internet.
At the age of 25, while still married to Belinda, Muhammad began another affair with a 16-year-old named Wanda Bolton. Wanda later changed her name to Aaisha Ali. The couple had a daughter named Khliah out of wedlock, Muhammad later married Aaisha in an Islamic ceremony, but their marriage was never legally recognized. Khaliah went on to become a fashion designer, author, real estate agent, and mother of a son named Jacob. In her memoir, 'Butterflies and Bees: A Woman's Search for Her Father', she revealed that she believed that her father felt that she was a 'mistake'.
Hana was born to Muhammad's third wife Veronica Porche. She was born a year before the couple got married. Hana is a writer, and has published a book titled 'More Than a Hero'. In her book she wrote, "We had a lot of governesses and housekeepers and stuff. But my dad always said we could interrupt him no matter who he was talking to, even the president. The door was always open. There was never a moment when we couldn't disturb him."
Out of all of Muhammad Ali's children, Laila is the most famous because she was a professional boxer between 1999 and 2007 when she retired undefeated. She is currently a TV personality and businesswoman. Although Muhammad disapproved of Laila's boxing career, he still attended her matches and supported her. In her book, Hana wrote, "He doesn't agree with women boxing, period, but he's supportive of her. When he's watching her at ringside, you'll see all the manifestations of emotion in his face: fear, excitement, reminiscence. My dad called me on the phone recently and said, 'Hana writes books, Laila throws hooks.' Ain't that something?"
Muhammad Ali and his fifth wife Yolanda "Lonnie" Williams adopted a five-month-old baby boy named Assad Ali. He was raised in a small town in Michigan. He earned his bachelor's degree from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville. He currently works as MultiMedia Content Producer for the University of Louisville Athletics.
You can learn more about Muhammad Ali and his life on Netflix's latest documentary 'Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali' premiering on September 9.